THANK YOU ANNABETH CHAT (May 2002)
The evening began late. Originally, Annabeth intended to be on the chat live, but unfortunately had internet problems. We went to our backup plan, where Annabeth and Deslea spoke on the telephone and Deslea transcribed. Deslea let people know at our various messageboards where to go for the chat, and then people filtered in.
There were about sixty people present, including Annabeth, Deslea, Khristine, Azar, xfmegan, BeckyWebb, JeSouhaite, DianeOnCurb, mystikal_bard, CeannaS, thara, unruhe, RachOnCurb, CjBronco, Dogrey, SunReyes, SunshineSofi, auburnished, Eisoj5, Ally1013, punkchick, AshOnCurb, Joie-Sapphistication, CelineTLYM, Trust_no_one, EnigmaticTomato, kate_anderson, Sophia, Erynn, Scifinergrl, MangoMandie, Crick, Doggocalypse, Monica_Reyes18, XSM, Vick, Nebula1400, qua, Morning_Angel, Pat, Sabrina, DanaShipper, Sloete, Grilka8140, krynn, lenockax, katumswim, MissMexico, ako, GP, MonicaReyes452, anyfrigginway, philedmind, sara, iamcobi, dehli_spooky, reck, pam, and none.
Deslea: Annabeth, firstly, on behalf of the team at Thank You Annabeth and of everyone who supported us along the way, thank you for joining us this evening. We're thrilled to have you here.
Deslea: Is there anything you want to say to us right now ?
Annabeth: My first thing that I'd like to say is to thank everyone who was involved because it just showed me - I'm just really honoured by everything people did.
Wade: (Annabeth's boyfriend, Wade Allen, in background) Gee, oh so eloquent. (Annabeth and Wade laugh).
Lots of Hi-Annabeth, hi-Wade, and hi-Greg. Greg is an incorrect reference to Annabeth's boyfriend, Wade Allen - he was incorrectly identified as Greg in a photo caption a few weeks earlier. Deslea relays this to Annabeth, and explains where "Greg" came from.
Annabeth: Wade ! Wade ! Wade !
Deslea: Looking back at all of your performances, what are your favorite characters and movies that you are the proudest of ? (from barefootdancer).
Annabeth: I think - let's see - well, certainly, playing Monica Reyes for an entire season has been incredibly rewarding for me. But playing Kat in mystic pizza was a big highlight. It's hard to say, because I've been lucky - each character that I've played has taught me a great deal.
Lots of enthused chatter about Mystic Pizza and The Way She moves. Among those chatting were AshOnCurb, RachOnCurb, and DianeOnCurb - the girls on the curb who greeted Annabeth while she was filming Empedocles. Deslea relays this to Annabeth.
Annabeth: I love the curb girls! You were instrumental in welcoming me on my very first days on the X Files - you made me feel so welcome! I remember Ashleigh. I took a photo with her - she was really sweet.
Lots of enthused hellos and locations - places mentioned include Alberquerque, Virginia, Sydney, Europe, Venezuela, South America, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, and England. Curb girls, meanwhile, are swooning in shock and joy. *grin*
Annabeth: I was a bit shy of the web going into the show...I was unsure of whether the fans would be supportive...but it has been so inspiring for me, frankly - it shouldn't be thankyouannabeth.com, it should be thankyoufansofannabeth.com !
Annabeth: The thing that seems so inspiring to me about the women I've heard from, is that they all seem so self-possessed and creative. It leaves me so inspired...I hate to use that word so many times, but it leaves me feeling really honoured, it's as much a gift to me, like we're all in this together.
Lots of greetings and comments, which Deslea relays to Annabeth, including a passing comment on her future plans. Annabeth replies:
Annabeth: I hope my unemployment isn't for too long, but I am planning to play house for a while...sleeping, learning how to cook...
Deslea: Why did Rebecca Stamos in Self magazine refer to you as the "spiritual one" among your [circle of] friends ? (from barefootdancer).
Annabeth: That's a good question. I think...hmm how to answer that? I'm not necessarily a religious person but I try to meditate and to pray but not in a - I mean sometimes my praying can be taking a hike out in nature. I think we can all just tap into our hearts, the earth. (laughs) and the Internet !
Annabeth: I do think that the Internet has served as a huge communications- (breaks off, and starts again). When people talk about the web, the metaphysical thinkers - they talk about interconnectedness and the web being the perfect symbol of that.
Lots of pleased replies - "She's a smart girl", etc. Nebula1400 says, "Tell her she reminds me of Mrs. Peel from the Avengers. She was one of the coolest women on television ever." Deslea relays this.
Annabeth: If only I could be as cool as Mrs Peel !
Deslea reads back some comments and impromptu questions to Annabeth, including one from DianeOnCurb - "Annabeth, if you could be a food, what would it be ?"
Annabeth: Diane, I would be a gorgeous mixed green vegetable salad. I'd just be a big healthy luscious salad.
Lots of discussion of what others would be. Deslea relays some of this. EnigmaticTomato says, "I'd be a tomato."
Annabeth: I hope all of my tomatoes are enigmatic.
EnigmaticTomato is most pleased.
Deslea: You've made such memorable movies! Heart movies I call them. I love them all. Is there a character you've played or a certain movie you've been in that has been special and meaningful to you ? One that changed or affected you personally in someway? (from Vickie McElroy).
Annabeth: I think A Death In The Family was incredibly emotionally moving to me.. as was the salsa movie that I did last year [The Way She Moves]. In a silly way, that dance was such a release, and I loved it. But I would have to say Desert Bloom, my very first role when I was thirteen, because it introduced my transformation into film.
Deslea: Whom do you consider your touchstone(s) -- your greatest personal influence(s) and/or inspiration(s) that help to keep you going ? (from Courtney / GishPhile).
Annabeth: Wow, great question ! I love the word touchstone because I literally carry touchstones in my pocket or on chains around my neck. I'm very dependent on ritual. As far as people, you know, it's so hard to find mentors these days, to be honest.
Annabeth: Usually I find great strength from women authors - especially Barbara King-Solver, George Eliot, are two of my favourite writers. I aspire to have a career like Judi Dench - she's so great, she seems like such a wonderful person as well as a great actress. I also like women in leadership positions, like Katherine Graham, but really, if truth be told, I go to women poets like Anne Sexton, Mary Oliver.
Deslea: Have you read any fanfic? (And if so, sorry about the smut! nothing personal !) (from Amy / scifinerdgrl).
Annabeth: (laughing) I write smut !
Lots of approving laughter and requests to read Annabeth's smut !
Annabeth: I haven't read any of the fanfic - I only focus on what Chris and the writers have wanted me to focus on this season. To venture into the fanfic would be to venture into a lot of different opinions about what Monica Reyes was supposed to be.
Deslea: Were there any good pranks or practical jokes on the set that you could tell us about ? (from CassieH)
Annabeth: I wish so much that the out-take reel that was shown in the wrap party [was available] - it was full of wonderful moments of release that you don't see on the show.
Several people comment that it will probably turn up on the web soon. *g*
Deslea: Hi Annabeth - I'll probably miss the chat because I'll be in my car driving home from the Politically Incorrect taping, so I'll ask my question and pretend I'm there in spirit. My question is; Is there any role or character that you played early on in your career that you think you could play better, or differently today, now that you've had more experience than when you first played that role or character? (from 12PunkChick12 / Alicia Cherie).
Annabeth: Wow, that is a good question. Um certainly to - there's a wonderful thing about acting in that the roles you play in the moment you play them, teach you so much and affect who you become. So who I am today is a result of all the characters I've played before. I think as I've progressed in my own personal life and my own acting skills, sure I could probably play something better, but it might not be - it wouldn't be more real as it was at the time.
Deslea: Annabeth, if you HAD to choose one, would you rather win an Academy Award for Best Actress or would you rather win the California Lotto ? (from DeanneE).
Annabeth: Immediately I would say academy award...but ideally I think either one - if you win suddenly and without hard work - it can become more of a curse than a blessing. Winning something quick and easy - and an award I mean doesn't make you mean more or your life worth more. I mean, yes, I'd like to win an academy award. BUT.
Deslea: I think sometimes it takes away your drive to become more.
Annabeth: I agree. It doesn't make you hungry [for it].
Deslea: If you could say one thing to an actress-hopeful, what would it be? (from Ceanna).
Ceanna, who hopes to be an actress, crosses fingers while waiting for an answer.
Annabeth: Hmm. I want to make this really - it's interesting, because when I was just starting out, I wrote to Lillian Gish, who obviously I share a name with, but am not related to. And she said, stay where people love you. Hollywood, there's too many actors and not enough work. But obviously I didn't listen. Obviously if you have a burning desire to act, feed yourself with as much information as you can about the world, just inform your senses. But as much as you inform your sense you should also inform your rational mind so you don't get carried away.
Ceanna is happy *g*.
Deslea: Tell us one thing about yourself that [you think] no one knows. Please ? Pretty please ? (from Sapphistication).
Annabeth: Let's see. One thing that no-one knows... let me ask Wade.
Deslea suspects from what she can hear in background that AG originally intended to tell us about an obscure mole or other body marking and wanted to check whether Wade had noticed it. *g*
Annabeth: I have a guilty pleasure, and it's called The Backstreet Boys. There's one song - it's Shape Of My Heart - I play it all the time.
Annabeth: Wade's groaning, by the way.
The group erupts with laughter and commentary, including Sapphistication - "You're a dork, but we love you." Deslea relays this.
Annabeth: (laughing) Touche!
More laughter and commentary.
This portion didn't make it into the live chat. It took place while Deslea and Annabeth were talking about wrapping up.
Deslea relays comments and random questions, including one from dehli_spooky - "Annabeth, can you speak spanish ?"
Annabeth: No, we had a language coach for John Doe.
Deslea: Tell me, how do they do that? Is it phonetic or do you actually learn what the words mean or what ?
Annabeth: I learnt the words. You can learn phonetically, but as an actress, it's important to me to, you know...
Deslea: To understand the meaning ?
Deslea: Okay - we'll tie this off now. I will be back on the chat shortly to let you in on what's happening down the track.
Deslea: AG sends her sincerest thanks and gratitude to everyone. And be happy!
Lots of chatter, laughter, and thank you messages. Some linger and chat for an hour or two before signing off.